Hudson Valley

5 Inspiring Firefighter Museums Near New York City

Kids love firefighters. And who can blame them? Brave men and women who drive around in shiny red trucks—and actually save lives—are kind of like real-life superheroes. And a chance to try on equipment, climb aboard fire trucks, and have questions answered by some of these superheroes themselves could be your little firefighter fan's dream come true. Luckily, the New York area is home to several museums dedicated to firefighters that are great for the whole family.

If you're looking for fun indoor activities to help you beat the heat (or the rainy day blues), here are some of the kid-friendly firefighter museums in our area where you and your kids can learn how firefighters do their jobs, plus how to prevent fires in your own home, and how to act in a fire emergency. 

Top Swimming Lakes and Rivers for Westchester Families

Pools in Westchester: check. Splash Pads to take the kids: check. Here's one more fun option to add to your list: lakes. While you won’t find many in Westchester, the Hudson Valley in general offers plenty of places to jump in and go for a swim, including some that merit a day trip—or even an overnighter. Here, we’ve rounded up several options, from the Hudson River to Lake Taghkanic.

Looking for even more fun in the sun? Check out our full summer guide for great ideas for the whole family.

Pick Your Own Blueberries and More at These Hudson Valley Farms

Strawberry-picking season may be coming to an end, but never fear: we've got the scoop on farms and orchards where you can pick other types of delicious berries all summer long—including blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Here are a few of our favorite places to go berry picking in the lower Hudson Valley, whether you decide to go for the morning or to make an entire day of it. Either way, be sure to call ahead to make sure the farm has berries on hand.

Looking for even more outdoor fun? Check out our summer guide.

July GoList: The Best Things To Do with Westchester Kids

Summer is in full swing, and so are the summer events for families in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! Our July GoList features all the best events happening this month, including the colorful Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival and a high-end Jazz Festival developed in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The month kicks off with a slew of 4th of July fireworks, as well as the multifaceted (and largely FREE) Independence Day Fair. Other top picks for July include outdoor concerts and movie screenings, various summer festivals, and the return of the Orange County Fair. If you’re looking for the annual pyrotechnic show A Night on Fire, note that this production will not be offered in 2018; the annual New York Air Show has been moved to September.

Now get your calendars ready and read on for our top picks for July. But don’t stop there: There’s plenty more where that came from in our Event Calendar, and our weekly newsletters deliver all the latest news and events right to your inbox!

Bounce Off the Walls at New Launch Trampoline Park in West Nyack

It seems like yesterday we announced to readers the opening of Rockin’ Jump, the indoor trampoline park, at Ridge Hill. Now there’s a new trampoline kid on the block: Launch Trampoline Park.

Located in Rockland County’s West Nyack, Launch Trampoline Park opened in June 2018 and is gearing up for a Grand Opening event. Bearing much resemblance to Rockin’ Jump, Launch Trampoline Park offers extreme dodgeball, one-on-one basketball, a battle beam, dunk basketball, a warrior ninja course, more than 15,000 square feet of open-jump trampoline space, an arcade with redemption, and a cafe.  Read on for more details about this new facility for Westchester and Hudson Valley kids.

Looking for more places to have fun while burning off energy? Consult our guide to indoor play spaces in Westchester. Also stay abreast of new openings, special events, and more by signing up for our newsletters and following us on Facebook

50+ Free Things To Do This Summer for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Summer is here, and while the end of school can be a relief, the new challenge is to keep the kids busy seven days a week! But filling those long days can get pricey—fast. Fear not: We’ve been hard at work identifying tons of FREE things to do with the kids that will keep them entertained all summer long—and we're not just talking about crafts. We found multi-cultural festivals, admission-free days, magic shows, outdoor yoga, astronomy nights, animal encounters, historical sites, and loads more.

Read on for 50+ of our favorites below, but also note that our Event Calendar is your BFF all season, because we keep adding to that frequently, so it’s always worth a gander. Want more that’s FREE? Bookmark our guide to year-round FREE things to do and sign up for our newsletters.

July 4th Fireworks in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Independence Day means summer fun, barbecues, and, of course, stunning pyrotechnics. We’ve identified fireworks displays over the course of an entire week (the benefit of Independence Day falling on a Wednesday!) along with lots of added attractions—a carnival, a fair, concerts, sports, bouncy houses, a parade, and other perks.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the famous Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is best visited strategically, and we have the best spots to watch with your family; there’s also a show-stopping fireworks display that’s less frenetic over the bridge in Jersey City, which also features a full agenda of fun.

Be sure to keep tabs on our Event Calendar, and sign up for our newsletters to stay on top of our frequent updates and announcements!

Free Family Summer Concerts in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Grab a blanket, picnic dinner, and family and friends: A free outdoor concert is just the thing to end your day on a relaxing note. 

This summer, many towns and villages are hosting bands playing everything from rock and jazz to country and Cuban. Some concerts are even dedicated specifically to the younger set, with local kid-bop stars piling on the entertainment. While some events involve a modest fee for parking and perhaps the optional food purchase, admission is our favorite price: FREE.

Looking for more summer fun? We've also rounded up FREE outdoor movies for yet more ways to soak up the season. Also consult our Event Calendar and Summer Activity Guide, 'cause there's loads more in store. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of more great ways to rock this summer!  

Free Outdoor Summer Movies for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Summertime means loose schedules and later bedtimes. Perfectly suited for those lazy days and longer nights is the abundance of FREE outdoor movies offered throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

We’ve rounded up an assortment of outdoor flicks for your family’s enjoyment—films both old and new, and for a range of ages, with the added appeal of a Hudson River view or a dip in a local pool. Some offer added amenities like pre-film entertainment (from steel drumming to a petting zoo), complimentary refreshments, or food for purchase. But all have one thing in common: FREE summer fun! (Just be sure to check with the event organizer for any change to the schedule.)

For an alternative take on outdoor movies, check out our roundup of drive-in movie theaters. Looking for outdoor concerts? We've got you covered there, too! And don't forget to consult our complete Summer Activity Guide and Event Calendar

Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds in Westchester and Hudson Valley

Ready to cool off this summer? There are plenty of local pools and beaches, but if you’re looking for something a little different, a splash pad or sprayground is a great choice. The setting—particularly the smaller splash pads—is especially fun for younger kids, who can run through the sprinklers and water jets. Lucky for us, there are a whole slew of family-friendly sprinkler parks to choose from in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, whether you’re looking for a quick morning trip or an all-day adventure.

We’ve rounded up a few to check out, from Yonkers to Wappingers Falls, including several that offer FREE entry. Looking for even more outdoor activities? Be sure to check out our Summer Guide.

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